Indy Film Fest: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of These Movies

Let an IIFF screener be your guide.

For the socialites:

Get to the opening and closing nights’ films and corresponding after-parties. Here you’ll meet filmmakers and fellow moviegoers while enjoying delicious food and libations. Both of this year’s films feature well-known actors. Want to see Jake Johnson, a.k.a. Nick from FOX TV show New Girl, as one of the leads in Drinking Buddies on opening night? Yes, please (July 18). And who’s the boss? Tony Danza as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s dad in Don Jon on closing night (July 27).  There’s no official dress code, but rumor has it a volunteer wore a tux last year, and others just might follow suit, pun kinda intended.

Looking for a tearjerker that will remind you there are still a few good people in the world?

Grab your hankies for the documentary Blood Brother, a story about a man who gives up his life as he knows it to volunteer in India at an orphanage for children with AIDS. It will screen just once: 7:30 p.m. on July 20 at the IMA. A Skype Q&A with director Steve Hoover is scheduled to follow the movie.  

Want to see a movie but tired of sitting in a dark theater?

This year the film fest has multiple opportunities to do just that, including a subtitled-foreign film at the Tibbs Drive-In (Lost for Words), a movie about an Indiana basketball team that will be screened in an old gym (Medora at the Harrison Center for the Arts), and a movie about mixologists at one of the city’s premiere bars (Hey Bartender at the Libertine).

ADHD make it difficult for you to pay attention for more than a few minutes at a time?

Check out the short films. These feature subjects including two buds who want to be the most evil black metal band in the land (Necronomica), a nudist puppet (Oh, Willy), a girl who learns that her grandfather had a secret past (Finding Franklin), a love story featuring robots (Boop Beep), and Michael Richards of Seinfeld as a traffic director from INSIDE THE BOX (Walk the Light). The festival really does have something for everyone. And if you don’t care much for one of the shorts or simply lose interest—don’t worry! There’s another one right … now!

Feeling overwhelmed?

Just show up and ask a volunteer for a recommendation or—better yet—take a chance and buy a ticket for the next show, whatever it is. What’s a film festival if not a chance to try something new? Don’t forget the popcorn!


NOTE: Rebecca Berfanger has been a member of the Indianapolis International Film Festival’s screening committee since 2012 and has attended the festival since 2005. If you want more specific suggestions, she’s happy to share @rjberf on Twitter. She’ll also be spending her birthday at the opening night movie and party.